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For Artists, By Artists: Supporting Each Other Through Business

Posted by Fransini Alberto Vasquez
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For Artists, By Artists: Supporting Each Other Through Business

As an artist, Craig “KR” Costello saw a need for efficient graffiti mediums. As a businessperson, he solved the hole in the market.

 

Graffiti artists in New York were all about mobility, painting subway cars through the City with their signatures sprayed on them; then, turning to walls, tunnels, and objects as their canvases. KR explains that during the 80s graffiti was ‘‘an attitude’’ and the culture revolved around DIY materials. Paint was stolen, markers were made, and unconventional tools were used due to the lack of economic resources, making the ‘’sharing and stealing [of tools] necessary for the creative process’’. Artists were faced with the challenge of messy homemade markers, and homemade inks that faded under the sun.

 

In the early 90s, KR moved to San Francisco, California where he studied its booming graffiti scene and experimented with various tools and mediums on the streets. Water bottles, white out pens, and shoe polish markers were re-purposed for the sake of “looking to your environment and finding your tools’’. Eventually, he began making his own ink (KR’s ink, hence Krink) and shared his product with the community of artists around him.

 

Eventually, KR’s ink could be found everywhere in the City, on any door, wall, or mailbox. Alife, an art supply store asked KR to bottle up Krink to be sold, turning his “creative project’’ into a business plan.

 

In an interview for Vice Magazine in 2012, KR discussed the interest of business owners in public art, in which they collaborated with artists from around the globe to do walls in their communities. Tiffany Tanaka, founder of the Honolulu-based gallery, Loft in Space, discussed the importance of KR’s contribution to the artist community in Hawaii, and the way she perceived art as a motor for social change, and its impact on Hawaii’s economy. As KR had helped to expand the artistic community as there was a lack of art galleries and exhibitions during that time.

 

KR transitioned from a struggling artist in New York City to the face behind a brand that aims to improve artistry, maintain affordability, ‘’pay fair wages, and support local economy’’. His scrappy attitude and holistic thinking has worked for him; he has been sought for major arts and business collaborations with Marc Jacobs, Nike, Casio, Absolut Vodka, Modernica Furniture, and many more. He is a prime example of someone who has bridged the gap between the interests of artists and the success of a business. Through his consideration and understanding of the best ways to create useful and affordable tools to make art, he has built a thriving business, drawn the attention of other business owners, and enhanced artists and local communities.

 

In January 2018, Krink announced the reissue of the original 8oz. silver ink, hand-filled and labelled in a glass bottle. 

 

Photo: Craig ''KR'' Costello in His Studio for Refinery29 by Atisha Paulson

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Making Room For and Encouraging Spirited Play

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Making Room For and Encouraging Spirited Play

A barrier to including arts into a business can be the age-old question “How?”. Leadership for many companies wonder how will they do this, and after that, what is the benefit, what does this look like, and more. And while having a fully integrated arts program in your business can be award-worthy (see: Americans for the Arts honors the 10 best businesses in the country that partner with the arts), sometimes it’s important to acknowledge the little steps that can be made in this direction.

 

Like, play.

 

Creating an environment of play can generate space for creativity to flourish.

 

In the article “The Power of Play at Work,” Michelle Burke, team and workplace specialist, shares insight from the founder of the National Institute for Play, “Not only does having a playful atmosphere attract young talent, but experts say play at work can boost creativity and productivity in people of all ages. There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.”

 

The pARTnership Movement agrees. And this type of play can take on many artistic forms:

 

 

Michelle further details about play, “… employees are more engaged, collaborative, focused when they are working, more creative and ultimately perform better,” noting companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ideo, all known for work environments that make room for and encourage play.

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Graffiti and Street Art Corporate Team Building Workshop

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Graffiti USA, a nationwide collective of professional graffiti and street artists who specialize in corporate office murals as well as live art for events, commercial and residential murals, and interactive art, worked with E.&J. Gallo Winery (Prophecy Wine) on a corporate workshop and team building event for their sales teams in multiple cities (New York, Hoboken, Chicago & Boston.)

 

Prior to the event, Graffiti USA created custom murals based on the Prophecy wine label that each team would try to recreate within 45 minutes. Providing each team with the materials (water based spray paint, stencils, protective gear, and fabricated walls or canvases) the Graffiti USA team were able to encourage creativity and judge the teams on team work and execution.

 

These art challenges are a unique and fun way to engage employees and bring together individuals from different departments for team building and enhancing workplace culture.  

 

More Companies that Love Graffiti Art

 

 

Lyrical Asset Management’s Interactive Sound Mural Activated by Touch


Investment company Lyrical Asset Management positions that their sole aim in crafting

 their investment program is to maximize long-term investment returns.The video above showcases the painting process, finished product, and how employees can use the mural as an instrument itself to compose their own music in real time. More details and video here.

 

 

Weber Shandwick’s coy fish 

 

Weber Shandwick is one of the world’s leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world. Their midtown NYC office boasts a few custom murals.

 

 

 

 

Eisai Inc.’s molecular structures 

 

Pharmaceutical company Eisai Inc. has custom office murals that depict formulas and molecular structures of their drugs reacting inside the human body.  

 

 

 

All works of art above are brought to each company by Graffiti USA.

 

Photos: Graffiti USA

 

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